It’s official, the Brooklyn Nets have won their first playoff series in 7 years. The Nets took care of business in game 5 and will now be focusing their attention on the Milwaukee Bucks. After years of torture from the Boston Celtics, the Nets can now say they got some revenge. This is a bittersweet moment for Brooklyn Nets fans.
Historic Night for the Beard
Saying James Harden is the most impactful player on the Nets isn’t controversial. Harden has consistently shown why he is the MVP of this team, and he proved it once again tonight. The Beard had one of the greatest postseason performances in Nets history, picking up a 34 point triple-double. (10 assists & 10 rebounds) You have to go back to 2007 Jason Kidd since the last time a Nets picked up a playoff triple-double. For Harden, this was his 4th career postseason triple-double.
The other 2/3 of the Big 3 played terrific as well. Kyrie Irving dropped 25 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds on 64% shooting (43% from 3). Kevin Durant picked up 24 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists on 50% shooting from the field (67% from 3). Joe Harris knocked down 2 three-pointers, but he was surprisingly a terrific playmaker for Brooklyn tonight. Harris almost certainly picked up a playoff career-high in assists with 6, which was more than Durant & Irving!
The Nets will always be at their best when the ball is popping around the court. The Nets once again had an amazing game in the assists department, with 26 dimes collectively as a team. The 51%/47%/88% shooting splits tonight can be attributed to Brooklyn’s unselfishness. We all saw how poor the Nets’ offense was in game 1 when they were too iso-ball dependent. Ball movement will be an important x-factor for the Nets in their upcoming series against the Bucks.
Nets Are Ready for Milwaukee
Let’s be honest here, this series really shouldn’t have gone to 5 games. If the Nets weren’t lackadaisical in game 3, and Jayson Tatum didn’t go off for 50, this series would’ve been over on Sunday. The energy from the team tonight showed you that they just wanted this series to be over. There was definitely a noticeable lack of intensity from Brooklyn in this game. They didn’t pull away from Boston until the mid-fourth quarter.
Nets fans would also be lying if they weren’t already thinking of Milwaukee. This game had more of a regular-season feel than a playoff game, and you can tell by the atmosphere. The crowd wasn’t as hype in this one as the first two games of the series. Milwaukee will obviously be a much tougher opponent, so expect the overall intensity to be raised significantly.
What’s Next for the Nets
The NBA has announced that game 1 against Milwaukee will be on Saturday, but other details haven’t been announced yet. The game will be played in Brooklyn since the Nets finished the season as the higher seed. Home court advantage will be important for the Nets in this upcoming series.